Pressure Group, Arise Ghana has called on the Akufo-Addo-led government to withdraw the E-levy immediately since it has opted to seek an economic bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the wake of the poor performance of the economy.
According to Arise Ghana, the E levy was introduced to prevent the government from seeking an IMF bailout but if the same government has resorted to seeking support from the fund, then steps must be taken to withdraw the levy.
“It would be recollected that in the government’s quest to saddle Ghanaians with the burden of the obnoxious E Levy, it was presented as the alternative to any possibility of an engagement with the IMF. As such, the government should take steps to immediately withdraw the E-levy Act without any further delay since the country is on its way to the IMF eventually,” Arise Ghana said in a statement signed by Rex Omar, a leading member of the group.
President Akufo-Addo recently directed Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to begin talks with the IMF for a bailout.
A statement issued by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Friday, 1 July 2022, said: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana.”
“This follows a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgievs, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund,” the statement said.
“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises
The economy has been in rough waters for some time now.
Fuel prices keep rising, the cedi keeps depreciating, inflation keeps soaring, and the cost of goods and services keep rising.
As of March 2022, Ghana’s total debt stock stood at GH¢391.9 billion.
Arise Ghana noted in its statement that, although the decision to seek an IMF bailout is late, “we hope the government’s impending engagement with the IMF will fashion out policies that will serve the interest of the country and steer Ghana out of the current economic doldrums.”
Below are details of the statement:
Arise Ghana has taken note of the decision by the Government of Ghana to engage with the IMF on the way forward for the financial and economic management of the Republic of Ghana as contained in a statement dated July 1, 2022, and signed by the Minister for Information, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Like the majority of the Ghanaian people, we are not surprised by this decision. We are however concerned that the government out of propaganda turned a deaf ear to all the expert advice in the wake of the poor and sorry state of the Ghanaian economy arising from very bad economic policies of the government.
Though a very late decision in our view, we hope the government’s impending engagement with the IMF will fashion out policies that will serve the interest of the country and steer Ghana out of the current economic doldrums.
It would be recollected that in the government’s quest to saddle Ghanaians with the burden of the obnoxious E Levy, it was presented as the alternative to any possibility of an engagement with the IMF. As such, the government should take steps to immediately withdraw the E-levy Act without any further delay since the country is on its way to the IMF eventually.
However, it is important to remind the government that until and unless the President and his government make a conscious effort to cut down on its profligate spending and focus on priority expenditure, no IMF policy will solve our common issues of corruption, misplaced priority, opaque procurement processes and a virtual abuse of the public purse.
Arise Ghana will at all times stay true to its overarching objective of holding the feet of government and all duty bearers to the fire in our demand for accountability.
Cmde Rex Omar
Leading Member, Arise Ghana